Berlin-based foodtech startup Formo raises €42 million to supercharge animal-free cheese production

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Formo-team

The Berlin-based precision fermentation startup Formo today announced that it has closed its Series A financing round led by EQT Ventures, with Elevat3 Capital and Lowercarbon Capital as co-leads. The funding raised by Formo amounts to €42 million, which makes it one of the largest venture funding rounds in European foodtech ever.

The round also saw participation from Lionheart Ventures, Happiness Capital, and Albert Wenger. Additionally, existing investors Agronomics, CPT Capital, Good Seed Ventures, Grazia Equity, and M Ventures participated in the round.

Founded in 2019, Formo is Europe’s first cellular agriculture company developing animalfree dairy products using real, nature-identical milk proteins derived from precision fermentation.

The startup will use the new funding to construct its pilot plant, fast-track its commercialscale production, and grow the molecular biology and food science team. With the resulting increase in R&D capacity, Formo plans to expand its product portfolio to represent a wide variety of European dairy specialties such as mozzarella and ricotta, with techniques designed in collaboration with artisan cheesemakers.

Raffael Wohlgensinger, the Co-Founder and CEO of Formo stated: “We are thrilled to join forces with additional top-tier investors such as EQT, Lowercarbon Capital, and Elevat3 Capital and to further solidify our relationships with our existing shareholders. Our excellent investor setup paired with our team of interdisciplinary experts makes us uniquely positioned to define the new gold standard of cheese. With our technology, we aspire to lead the paradigm shift towards a more sustainable and equitable food system for this planet. To achieve our goal of a zerocarbon economy, we need to invest at least as much attention and resources into making our food system radically more sustainable as we are investing into clean energy.”

Formo domesticates microorganisms instead of cows, using precision fermentation to create nature-identical dairy products. Formo’s cheeses have the same taste, texture, and functional properties as animal-derived cheeses, but come at a substantially lower cost for the environment, human health, and animal welfare. With microorganisms being up to 20 times more efficient than cows at converting feed into food, Formo can already undercut
consumers’ willingness to pay at commercial production scale.

“The true cost of dairy on human health, planetary health, and animal welfare is devastating, yet governments across the world still subsidize this industry. Formo’s exceptional team has successfully demonstrated how biotechnology can be applied to create not just equally, but even better-performing products that will be price-competitive in no time. This is just the beginning of the dairy revolution!” said Christian Angermayer, Founding Partner of Elevat3 Capital.

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